New Mexico’s dumpster-fire legislative session ended Saturday with no budget agreement between lawmakers and the governor and no noteworthy bills that promise to improve the Land of Enchantment’s dire economic/fiscal health.
But on the bright side, some truly awful pieces of legislation were not passed. Among the bullets dodged:
* Multiple minimum-wage bills, including HB 27 and HB 67, would have raised the mandate to a jaw-dropping (and hyper-job-destroying) $15.00. An increase that was adopted hikes the minimum wage to $9.00 on April 1, 2018, with a lower, temporary rate allowed for trainee employees. It could be vetoed by the governor.
* HJR 2, the “brainchild” of Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Mesilla Park), would have squandered $7 billion from the Land Grant Permanent Fund on “infrastructure and energy projects,” as well as “clean energy and water technologies” and “early childhood services.”
* The charter-school moratorium, spearheaded by Rep. Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque), would have squashed all applications for the important school-choice option through January 1, 2020.
* SB 42, SB 54, SB 102, and SJR 7 attempted to disenfranchise New Mexico’s residents in presidential contests by awarding the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
Yes, the 2017 session was a disaster. But hey, it could have been worse….